Development of a Selective Breeding Program for the Bamfield Huu-Ay-Aht Community Abalone Project

Network Investigators:
Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila (FERU, UBC)
Dr. Elizabeth G. Boulding (PI, University of Guelph)
Dr. Ian McMillan (University of Guelph)

Yajie Liu (FERU, UBC)
Dr. Jane Tosh (University of Guelph)
Matt Lemay (University of Guelph)

Network Collaborators/Partners:
Cheryl Quinton (University of Guelph)
Ruth E. Withler (Pacific Biological Station, DFO)
Bamfield Huu-Ay-Aht Community Abalone Project

Research Project Description


Our research project will develop a selective breeding program for cultured pinto abalone at the Bamfield Huu-Ay-Aht Community Abalone Project (BHCAP). This breeding program will apply modern animal breeding methodology to improve the cultured population for economically-important traits, while minimizing inbreeding accumulation. Such a breeding plan is essential because of the potential for rapid inbreeding accumulation resulting from the high fecundity of the abalone and limited rearing space in the hatchery. Our project is novel in incorporating the molecular markers to monitor inbreeding, estimate genetic parameters, and identify the parents of potential broodstock. Fisheries economists on the project team will help identify important traits to target for selection by predicting the relative economic value of these different traits in the global marketplace. These economic weights will be incorporated into a multi-trait selection index that will be used for genetic evaluation of potential brood stocks.


  1. To develop a Selective Breeding Program for the Bamfield Huu-Ay-Aht Community Abalone Project (BHCAP) including a multi-trait selection index;
  2. To determine which traits are economically important and their relative importance so that they can be weighed appropriately in the Selection Index;
  3. To measure these traits on individually-tagged hatchery-bred animals;

Funding sources:


Last Updated: Feburary 2006.